DOH confirms deworming medicine not expired

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The deworming tablets given to children by the Department of Health.

Zamboanga City (CNN Philippines) — The Department of Health (DOH) Regional Office-9 has denied that the medicine used in a deworming program for children was expired.

In a press conference, DOH-9 Assistant Regional Director Dr. Ruby Constantino presented a wrapper of a medicine that was reportedly posted online to substantiate allegations that the medicine used by the agency was expired.

Related: Children experienced minor reaction to deworming tablets — DOH

The medicine wrapper of a drug with the brand name Benzol showed an expiration date of December 2012. 

Constantino said that the deworming medicine used in children in Region 9 was the generic medicine Albendazole with an expiration date of 2016.

The medicine was reportedly transported from the DOH Central Office to the Department of Education Division Offices in Zamboanga.

Teachers and health workers were the ones who administered the drugs to the children.

Constantino said that health and education personnel attended a series of orientation meetings to instruct them with procedures on the proper administration of the drug to the children.

The children took the drugs after recess time. It will be recalled, however, that initial reports attributed the harsh reaction to the drugs to the possibility that children took the drug on an empty stomach.

Constantino added that they are focusing their efforts on addressing the health issues involving the drug.